Beware of wolves in sheeps clothing. It's unforunate that these people hide in these types of institutions.
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Article published Jul 22, 2005
State: Day care kids were sexually abused, forced to eat worms
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The state suspended the licenses of two church-affiliated day care centers where children were allegedly sexually assaulted and forced to eat worms, pick each other's noses and smell each other's feet during employee-led games of "Truth or Dare."
The emergency suspension order issued Thursday by the Florida Department of Children & Families bars Kid's Palace from reopening either of its child care centers in neighboring Clay County without appealing, DCF spokesman John Harrell said.
"The suspension is due to the serious nature of the allegations," Harrell said.
Terry Bork, an attorney for Kid's Palace, declined to comment Friday, saying he has just received the emergency order of suspension.
The former director of the day care centers, Joshua Palin, 25, has been charged with molesting 10 children, some of them during what investigators said were twisted games of Truth or Dare. He is the son of the affiliated church's pastor.
The game is played by having one person ask another: "Truth or dare?" If the person answers "truth," they have to answer an embarrassing question. If the response is "dare," they have to do something embarrassing suggested by the questioner.
Palin was originally charged last month with molesting two girls, ages 12 and 13, the latter at his Jacksonville home. The additional molestation charges were added this week after Clay County sheriff's investigators interviewed children at the child care centers. Palin is charged with "daring" children age 5 to 14 to fondle him or each other or to perform oral sex on each other over a one-year span ending last month.
He was being held Friday on $500,000 bond in the Clay County Jail in Green Cove Springs. His court-appointed attorney Alan Rosner said Palin has pleaded not guilty, but declined further comment.
"We intend to respond in the courtroom setting in regard to the allegations," Rosner said.
Along with the charges against Palin, another day care center worker Tammy Sue Warren, 29, is free on $5,000 bond on a charge of lewd and lascivious exhibition. According to the DCF report, she lifted up her shirt during a game of Truth or Dare with the children. Her attorney, James Thies Sr., declined comment.
A third employee, Claudia Foster, was accused in the DCF report of making children eat worms, smell each other's feet and pick each other's noses during Truth or Dare.
Assistant State Attorney Rebecca Zima said she does not intend to prosecute Foster on those allegations, saying the actions did not rise to the level of criminal conduct. There was no answer Friday at Foster's Orange Park telephone number.
Clay County Sheriff's Lt. Deborah Wheeler and Zima said the investigation is still going on and there are still some children who have been away for the summer who have not been interviewed.
The centers, which were licensed for 176 children, were operated by Faith Ministries, where Palin's father is pastor. The church did not return calls Friday or earlier in the week. The day care centers were closed by the church June 15, but it could have reopened them if the licenses not been suspended.
The state has released only the initials of the children allegedly victimized and they and their parents could not be reached for comment.